The American Soldier

Director Rainer Werner Fassbinder described this 1970 film as “what's left in the minds of the German people who see a lot of American gangster films.” What's left, apparently, is some of the seediest mise-en-scene I've ever encountered—flat, grainy, spatially incomprehensible, and way too dark. And naturally, it's fascinating. This is Fassbinder before he froze up as a Douglas Sirk impersonator: a real punk movie, full of wonderfully half-baked ideas. In German with subtitles. 80 min.

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